Monthly Archives: August 2013

ZPizza – Dubai Marina

Driving towards JBR from Jumeirah, ZPizza is one of the first restaurants found on the left side. ZPizza have a slogan which was really appealing to me, it said “World’s best pizza in a crust” and if you have read most of my reviews here, you would know, I like to put these claims to test!

I passed by one afternoon, it was around 2 pm or so to see what ZPizza had to offer.

There is very little parking space out front but right before ZPizza there is an indoor parking lot which can be used for ZPizza customers, I was worried that parking could discourage people but I guess that is sorted!

ZPizza - Seating Area


The place looks quite modern and clean. They used a lot of flat design matte greens and reds to liven the place up. There is quite a few dining areas behind various pillars and towards the end there is quite a long bench against the wall. The place isn’t big but fairly medium sized.

I walked in and the place was a bit quiet, I was welcomed and was offered any table, so I choose the bench by the window. All the glass is nicely tinted so looking out into the scorching sun was nice.

ZPizza -  Menu

They had lovely wooden tables and chairs, and the table placement was the menu itself. There is a good selection of starters, pizzas and a small selection of pastas and sandwiches. For anyone creative or daring, custom pizzas are an option which I think is interesting for people who are a bit picky.

Thankfully, the available selection had already caught my eye so I did not have find an alternative.

A nice touch though, is that there is no “small” pizza! It is regular, large and extra large. Not sure if this would convince people to go for the smaller sized pizza or not but when I inquired if it was sufficient for one person, the server had told me it was enough with a starter. After all, it did state it was 10 inches, so I took his word for it.

ZPizza - Table Setting

All the tables had a table number with salt and pepper shakers. The whole atmosphere, especially during the day is quite relaxing, especially with free Wi-Fi, the place is very welcoming.

So to start things off, I had ordered the Cheesy Garlic ZBread

ZPizza - Cheesy Garlic ZBread


This is the first time I see garlic bread made in a flat way. Apparently nearly everything is fire baked as well.

As far as the taste goes, it was nice, crispy but there was one criticism, it was slightly over done, so there was a smokey-ness to it. It had nice flavor, the garlic was very light so nothing obtrusive to the palette and the cheese was yummy. I had never had garlic bread like this, so I think of it as a cheese garlic bread pizza.

It was served with some tissues and a few packets of ketchup. I guess some people might ask for ketchup, but why in packets?

ZPizza - Plate and Cutlery


Along with the garlic bread, the plate, utensils and my drink were brought over, and I could not figure out why did they have plastic utensils for dining in. Especially with the lovely crispy pizzas this fork and knife would be useless! I tried, and they were. Fortunately, I like to eat pizzas the way god intended it, with my hands!

Soon after starting the garlic bread or Zbread as they call it, my pizza had arrived.

ZPizza - ZBQ Pizza


It looked amazing at first sight! So many colors going on. I ordered their ZBQ pizza which has the following ingredients:

bbq sauce, mozzarella, bbq chicken, roasted peppers, red onions, fresh rounds of tomatoes, cilantro, and sweet corn.

Did it work? Well.. it really did! the taste was really fresh, the ingredients were all nicely done and flavorful. The barbecue sauce was nice and sweet and with the chicken and vegetables it worked nicely together. I was served two bottles of tabasco (Red and Green Peppers). I had not thought of making it a bit spicy but once served the tabasco I thought i’d spice things up a little, and it became even better.

The crust was crispy but not over done like the garlic bread, it was just the right amount of crisp. Very nice pizza. I liked how the pizza (and garlic bread for that matter) are placed on non-stick kind of paper with ZPizza branding and it made cutting or lifting off slices easier.

Overall, a good pizza experience, certainly better than most fast food style pizzas found these days. There is something about the way it is prepared that makes it really delicious, I just could not figure out why they were using take away utensils and cups for dine in customers.

The Service: It was quite good. At the time I went there was only one server because, as I was told, they often get busy during the night mostly so during the day they prepare for the load. The server was welcoming, helpful and was ready to please and make small conversation. He would come back and ask if there was anything I needed and also checked up on the food. Upon leaving he was thankful for coming and wished me well.

The Value: The ZBQ pizza, in regular size, was 35 Dhs, the Cheesy Garlic Bread was 14 Dhs and a regular soft drink was 3 Dhs, totalling to around 52 Dhs which I think is decent value for good pizza that is certainly more than enough for a single person.

ZPizza also have a customer loyalty program called ZTribe, where signing up gives a small gift coupon and with time and use, one could gain more discounts and offers.

The Place:    6.5  / 10
The Service:   6   / 10
The Food:     6.5  / 10

Overall: 6.3 / 10

I would recommend ZPizza for a try. They have a nice warm calming dining area, good service and lovely pizzas. I will definitely be back.


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Posted by on August 25, 2013 in Dine In


Orchestra Restaurant at Dubai Mall

I have often visited Orchestra Restaurant and Cafe’s other branch in Dubai Festival City but it was the first time I get to visit the Dubai Mall branch. They are located on an upper level so thought the view should be quite lovely with the Dubai Mall fountains and all. It was.

I walked into the place, and it is quite big! I could imagine nearly 30 or 40 tables in doors. They have nice simple classic decor with a musical theme referencing back to the Orchestra name. There’s no smoking indoors so we dined out doors since the people I was with wanted to smoke.

Out doors, they have a large area with enough seating, almost as much as their indoors capacity and the tables look (at an angle at least) towards the fountains. We were welcomed at the door and was asked if we would like to sit indoors or outdoors with shesha and then she showed us the way. Once outside she asked if we wanted a table with a view or on the inside area, which was shaded from the sun a bit. Pretty straight forward decent service.

They have marble tables (or what looks to be marble) with nothing much on them really. Being outdoors, I would expect nothing on them anyways.

Orchestra Restaurant & Cafe - Menu


As soon as we sat, the server went and got us the menu and handed the task of serving us to the waiter. Orchestra mainly is a Lebanese Restaurant so the menu does have a lot of the levant cuisine including cold and hot starters, grills, etc but it does also have international dishes, which is what I went for.

Orchestra Restaurant & Cafe - Table Setting


Pretty simple work they have done, They brought on the table setting, fork and knife.

I had ordered a Mushroom Soup to start things off.

Orchestra Restaurant & Cafe - Mushroom Soup


The mushroom soup didn’t take too long to arrive, and it was fairly warm. I would, as typical as can be, imagine they have it ready, but I do like that slight delay in soup serving so I don’t picture a pot that’s just sitting there in the kitchen. I might be weird, but it is one of the things I think off!

The soup was a little watery, I prefer mushroom soup to have a little thickness to it. The flavors were nice and the mushrooms tasted good as well. They weren’t over done, neither were they crunchy, there was a slight chew to it. With the served lemon it was good. I always like to try mushroom soups to find places with unique or strange mushroom soups, here though, it was the typical recipe.

Along with the soup, and water (very important factor I think, serving of water I believe often should come with the table setting but it came with the first serving) they brought on a bread basket and butter.

Orchestra Restaurant & Cafe - Bread Basket


The nice thing is they brought on white and brown buns, which were fairly fresh. I really do not get into bread baskets much, but still, fair enough.

As for my main dish, I didn’t want to simply go for something from the Lebanese food because I have over done it with restaurants around Dubai Mall. I wanted to try something new, and so I did.

Orchestra Restaurant & Cafe - Lemon & Pepper Chicken


So, guessed what I ordered? No? It is chicken with lemon and pepper.

Essentially the chicken is cooked and encrusted with lemon and pepper, which was pretty crispy, I loved that little crisp.

So how was the dish? It was nice. The chicken was slightly overcooked, a little tough, but wasn’t too tough. The crispiness of the lemon and pepper was really nice. The flavors matched really well, I never really thought of the combination before but it made a lot of sense and tasted nice.

The fries were another thing which was nice, they were steak fries, which means they are my favorite type of fries, fat, chunky and supposedly crispy on the outside. At Orchestra though, they weren’t that crispy, but still warm and soft on the inside.

The saute’d vegetables were okay-ish. Bland. Seemed possibly frozen.

The Service: It was quite fair. Nothing outstanding or anything wrong either. Walking in we were greeted and welcomed, but when we were leaving there wasn’t much thanking and welcoming other than the person who was standing by the door to the outdoor terrace. There weren’t that many servers around but they did manage to handle the tables well. When we wanted a waiter, it would take a minute or two to be able to locate one. Overall, a fair service.

The Value: I wouldn’t be able to put the entire orders here, but at least for me; the mushroom soup was 35 Dhs, the chicken lemon & pepper was 58 Dhs, and 1 large water was 20 Dhs, which totaled to 113 Dhs. I would say it was an okay in terms of value. The prices are in check for Dubai Mall standard of restaurants overlooking the fountain view and perhaps the Orchestra name, but as far as the overall experience and quality of food it wasn’t the best value.

The Place:    5.5 / 10
The Service:   6  / 10
The Food:      6  / 10

Overall: 5.8 / 10

Orchestra wasn’t bad, and the views are spectacular from the terrace, I would recommend it for people who have tried most (or all if you are lucky to have tried them all) restaurants at Dubai Mall and want a decent change.

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Posted by on August 12, 2013 in Dine In


Burger Fuel at Dubai Mall

Burgers have gotten rather complicated in the past few years. All I could really remember was good burgers or bad burgers, but now though, the burger world has changed entirely! You have fast food burgers that are either thin or thick, and fast food burgers that try gourmet style of preparation or try to use gourmet names and types of beef patty, then comes places that specialize in making fresh burgers (like Burger Fuel) and do most of the burger making in real time and in some places, in front of you as well. Finally though, there are actual gourmet burgers that are done in a gourmet style (don’t ask, even I don’t know what they often mean), priced high and often serve a small but delicious experience. To be honest, I even feel there are more types of burgers.

I have said the word “burger” a crazy number of time in the above paragraph, but the point is, Burger Fuel is a restaurant that specializes in creating delicious combinations of ingredients (often unusual to some) used with their very well made, fresh beef or chicken patties to create a memorable burger experience… that’s what they claim. I had to find out for myself.

Me and a friend walked in, stood by their big menu signboard and while pondering on what to have, the manager had come and tried to assist in ordering. I really had no clue what to have because although the selection wasn’t that huge, I wanted to try many things. In the end, he suggested I try their special “America, Sup?” burger. Yes, that is it’s actual name.

Burger Fuel - Dining Area

It was the first time I have been to Burger Fuel in Dubai mall and I had sat on a table that was right near the entrance. I haven’t thought of its location so I didn’t realize they had a section that overlooked the mall’s ice rink. Fortunately though, the manager was quite a nice guy and he said that there was a free table right by the glass, which meant a huge view!

Burger Fuel - Mall View

I really enjoyed the view looking at the entire three stories of the mall and the ice rink.

The decor is pretty straight forward, wooden tables, leather stools or metal chairs

Burger Fuel - Table Placements

The tables didn’t have much on them, just a little tissue box. The tissues are recycled paper which does give a little green initiative, I guess.

Soon the burgers had arrived!

Burger Fuel - Served Tray

They were served on a round metal tray (Kind of matches all their metal look, chairs, walls, kitchen equipment that are visible, etc) they laid out the burgers, fries and served a small cup of garlic mayonnaise. I did like how they stamped on the paper bag what kind of burger it is, instead of just writing on it or figuring out some other way to identify them.

Burger Fuel - Doofer

This is something rather unique to Burger Fuel, something they call a Doofer. This is essentially a piece of cardboard that you fold up like this:

Burger Fuel - Doofer Put Together

and essentially you place your burger in it so it can be eaten with ease or without getting messy or some idea they have had. To me personally, it wasn’t really necessary for two very specific reasons:

The first of which is, these kinds of burgers are often messy, I mean if it isn’t messy it would actually reduce the burger experience but the point is, they are often messy and being messy it means it will drip and sauce will slide and all, I rather use a tissue or my own hands to maneuver my way around a burger than use this Doofer and still have things drip through it to my hands or worse! I appreciate the idea, and certainly is creative. The second reason I felt it wasn’t necessary is…

Burger Fuel - America Sup Special

and Secondly, do I need to really explain that it wouldn’t fit the Doofer?

So what exactly did I order? I had no clue, all I really did know was it was called “America, Sup?” and that was the most unexpected, weird name I have ever heard for a burger! What was inside though was rather yum! It had a large 1/3 Pound pure New Zealand grass fed beef patty (I am sure they fed the cow not the beef itself), two pieces of hash brown, chopped up beef bacon, Cheddar cheese and American Mustard. As for the veggies, it had lettuce and tomato.

How was it? simply put, delicious. the biggest click factor I think about always is if all the ingredients will go well together, and here it really did. It was delicious. Certainly the star was the beef patty which was one of the nicest I have ever had. It was succulent, soft, and cooked very well. It was exactly what one would expect a beef patty to be like. I loved it, and this specific America, Sup? was very nice.

The bun was rather questionable at first sight, I felt it was a tad too white perhaps, but it was really good too, soft and freshly made. Overall a really good burger experience.

The Fries were chunky, crispy and soft on the inside, very nice fries, certainly one of the really nice fat fries I have ever had. The sauce was nice but the garlic taste was slightly overpowering, but not by too much.

The Service: It was good, the manager cared to help us pick burgers at the start, inquired what we liked and suggested a few burgers based on how hungry we were. Then he suggested a better seating area and was rather kind thought. When the food was served the server had a smile on. There wasn’t much interaction with the servers or manager since it was just one tray to be served but when there was, they were kind and helpful to seek our satisfaction.

The Value: A sandwich (Flame Thrower is its name apparently) was 30 Dhs, my America, Sup? was 35 Dhs, fries were 12 Dhs and a small bottle of coke was 7 Dhs bringing the total bill to 84 Dhs. I think this is pretty decent value for freshly made burgers using high quality beef and ingredients.

The Place:      6  / 10
The Service:  6.5 / 10
The Food:     7.5 / 10

Overall: 6.7 / 10

I would recommend Burger Fuel as it is one of the nicest burgers that are freshly made using good ingredients and in creative combinations. So it turns out they are as good as they claim!


Posted by on August 3, 2013 in Dine In

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